Remote Gambling Association denies advertising ban agreement reached

The Remote Gambling Associaton (RGA) has publicly denied reports that the industry had agreed on a whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling adverts.

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Operators are in advanced talks about self-regulation of industry advertising. © Pexels.

The RGA and its members have been in talks to discuss self-regulation and what sort of restrictions, if any, the industry should face when it comes to advertising.

However, RGA Chairman, Clive Hawkswood, made it clear that the talks are on-going, with no concrete proposals.

This is despite reports yesterday that the RGA and its members had agreed a whistle-to-whistle ban on advertising. The confusion seems to stem from the BBC reporting that an agreement had been made.

The BBC reported that the RGA, together with its members, such as bet365, William Hill, and Paddy Power Betfair, had agreed a whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertisements. Such a ban would see operators stop advertising during any sporting events that start before the 9PM watershed. That news was then reported by a number of other high-profile UK media outlets. Shares in a number of operators fell up to 4% after the news broke.

Mr Hawkswood was quick to squash the reports yesterday, stating that an annoucement as to concrete proposals is some way off.

The talks around advertising restrictions are progressing however. Reports suggest that the whistle-to-whistle ban is one possibility. Other suggestions include restricting the number of adverts shown per commercial break, a blanket ban on pre-watershed advertising, and a ban on adverts offering in-play bets.

Operators also appear in favour of some sort of restriction on advertising. Kenny Alexander, boss of GVC Holdings, a group that owns Ladbrokes Coral, came out in support of a pre-watershed advertising ban for gambling firms earlier this year.

As for broadcasting companies, Sky recently announced that they would limit gambling adverts to one per commercial break, starting from the 2019/20 Premier League season. Furthermore, Sky subscribers will be able to manually replace all gambling ads with other commercials.

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